Friday, 28 August 2009

Obama’s Summer Reading List

Lush Life by Richard PriceAs President Obama headed off for his week-long holiday in Martha’s Vineyard, his summer reading list was announced by the White House. Containing two heavyweight works of non-fiction and three novels, Obama would have to read more than 300 pages each day to finish the five books. For fiction reading, the President choose two crime thrillers. Lush Life by Richard Price is set in New York City and shows us the hidden cracks beneath the shiny veneer of the city. Price also writes for The Wire, Mr Obama’s favourite television show. The Way Home by George Pelecanos, another writer for The Wire, is set in Washington, DC, and explores the often difficult relationship between fathers and sons. The third novel on Obama’s list was Plainsong by Kent Haruf, which tells a powerful tale of seven lonely lives set on the stark but beautiful High Plains of Colorado. It is described as a moving meditation on the true nature of community. For more political reading the President chose Hot, flat, and crowded: why the world needs a green revolution by Thomas L Friedman. The New York Times guru argues that embracing clean energy is the best way to revitalise the American economy – and save the planet. The final book on the list was John Adams by David McCullough, a biography of America’s second president. Publishers are keeping a close eye on these titles to see whether the “Obama effect” will result in a surge of sales as they have on the sales of other books that have been endorsed by Mr Obama. Between playing tennis and golf and spending quality time with the family, one wonders how many of the 2,300 pages Obama managed to get through.

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